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Call to Faculty to Participate in International Governance Seminar

June 25, 2007

WAGE Senior Fellows Jeremi Suri & Jonathan Zeitlin will lead a Fall ’07 Faculty Development Seminar in the Humanities on the topic of International Governance.

As a co-sponsor of this seminar WAGE would like to invite all faculty members to apply to participate in this seminar.

*International Governance*
Led by Professors Jeremi Suri (History) &
Jonathan Zeitlin (Sociology, Political Science, History & Public Affairs)

Deadline to apply to participate: June 30, 2007

Meetings: The seminar will meet weekly at night for 10 weeks at a time convenient for the seminar participants.

Faculty participation is limited to ten (10) participants.

Participating members will receive $500 in research funds to recognize their selection and to cover the costs of materials. Participants will be chosen by a selection committee.

To Apply: Please send a brief letter by e-mail expressing interest and describing your work in connection to the subject to BOTH: jzeitlin@wisc.edu and suri@wisc.edu by June 30, 2007.

The Faculty Development Seminars in the Humanities receives major support from the Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences, the Institute for Research in the Humanities, and the Center for the Humanities. The Seminars provide a formal setting for faculty that promotes sustained collaboration and dialogue across disciplinary lines on a specific topic. This pilot project is designed to enhance the quality of Humanities Research at UW-Madison. This particular seminar is co-sponsored by the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE).

The Seminars enable an individual senior faculty member or a team of two senior faculty to teach fellow faculty for ten weeks (a weekly two hour seminar) on a topic of interest across the Humanities. The presiding senior faculty member(s) as well as the participating faculty members will be chosen by a selection committee.

Seminar Description:

This seminar will focus on the topic of “international governance.” This is an area of research that has drawn major interest in the last decade from scholars in numerous humanistic and social science disciplines. The growing dangers attributed to unfettered competition among states in a world of proliferating weapons, rapid environmental degradation, and widening economic inequality have pushed diverse observers to contemplate alternatives to Westphalian presumptions about state sovereignty. The nation-state, in this sense, has lost some of its historical legitimacy. Numerous groups and institutions have coalesced in recent years to offer new approaches to governance on a transnational scale.

The seminar will not seek to build expertise about particular proposals for international governance, nor will it offer any proposals of its own. Instead, we will seek to interrogate the core conceptual issues behind the movement toward international governance. We will treat this topic as central humanistic dilemma — how to build order in diversity, cooperation with competition. In addressing questions of international governance in these terms we will take a broad approach, interrogating some of the most influential public discourses, historical experiences, and contemporary experiments with international governance. We will also examine some of the criticisms of globalization, especially those that question its effects on local culture, political accountability, and social equality. We expect that this is an approach that can draw fruitfully on many different humanistic fields of study, and contribute to the research of many diverse humanities scholars.

Weekly meetings of our seminar will center on the reading and discussion of argumentative, conceptual texts. These will include books and articles from scholars in a variety of disciplines – including history, philosophy, literature, anthropology, sociology, legal studies, and political science. The texts will offer diverse perspectives on three theoretical and empirical questions, around which we will structure discussions:

1. What kinds of authority are legitimate for governing diverse cultures and societies?
2. What are the appropriate aims of international governance?
3. What are the effective mechanisms for instituting international governance?

In the end, we hope to build a community of scholars interested in one of the most enduring questions at the root of humanistic study: how can human beings live peacefully together. Recent scholarship on international governance returns us to this basic question, with clear and obvious connections to our contemporary world, and the many disciplines that comprise a vibrant “republic of letters.”

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